Biodiv Sci ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (6): 694-700.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016003

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The taxonomic status of badgers in the Qinghai Lake area and evolutionary history of Meles

Xiao Luo1,2, Feng Li1,3, Jing Chen1,2, Zhigang Jiang1,2,*()   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 The 4th Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu 212001
  • Received:2016-01-03 Accepted:2016-05-13 Online:2016-06-20 Published:2016-06-20
  • Contact: Jiang Zhigang

Abstract:

To investigate the phylogenetic status of badgers (Meles sp.) in the Qinghai Lake area and to estimate the divergence time within Eurasian badgers, the cytochrome b gene and the partial control region (CR) of mitochondrial DNA were examined as genetic markers. Our results indicated that Meles is divided into four species. Twenty one haplotypes were identified in 23 combined sequences (1,652 bp) of Cyt b and CR sequences. Results showed that Eurasian badgers were clearly divided into two major lineages: one of Western lineage, composed of badgers from Europe and Southwest Asia, and the other of Eastern lineage, composed of badgers from North and East Asia (including Japan). Furthermore, the Bayesian tree and the haplotype network indicated that the badgers in the Qinghai Lake area are Asian badgers (M. leucurus). The estimated divergence time was consistent with palaeontological evidence. The first split between the Western lineage and Eastern lineage occurred approximately 2.24 Ma. After the separation, the Southwest Asia clade split from Europe approximately 1.27 Ma and the Japan clade split from continental Asia approximately 0.99 Ma.

Key words: badger, Meles, Qinghai Lake area, cytochrome b, control region, phylogenetic relationship